A hotel’s marketing strategy is their game plan for reaching people, starting the relationship at a distance and turning them into loyal, paying customers. A marketing strategy helps determine what aspects of your business will have the most impact on customers. A hotel can offer the very best in luxury amenities and customer experience, but if you don’t have an effective marketing strategy, then your occupancy levels can stagnate.
Luckily, we’ve collated what we think are the sure-fire routes to marketing strategy success!
A hotel’s website is the most important distribution channel for your business, as it is the only one which generates direct sales. Through your website, visitors should be able to find out information about your hotel, explore the facilities your venue has to offer, and make bookings.
The website is primarily a visual tool for your customer, so, naturally, the aesthetic is crucial. The online journey should mirror the experience the guest will have when they stay at your hotel, so the focus is on elegance and minimal difficulty. Use influencer content effectively on your website. You can adopt W Hotels in Bali’s strategy – where they saved $25,000 USD on hotel photography by using influencer generated content.
The booking engine should also be simple to use, and should require as few clicks as possible to make a booking. Booking processes which are complicated to understand, or which take a lot of time out of the lives of busy consumers will be abandoned in frustration in favour of an easy alternative.
Finally, the website should be optimised for viewing on mobile devices and tablets. With most customers now possessing the ability to book from virtually anywhere, it is essential that they can explore your venue from their mobile devices.
Use SEO Best Practices
Today’s travellers are less likely to visit a travel agent than ever before, and, as we have mentioned above, bookings can be made anywhere, and inspiration can strike at any time. As a result of this, if you are difficult to find online, bookings will become few and far between. A hotel needs to be on top of its online presence by optimising the SEO keywords which are generating the most traffic in the hotel industry and beyond.
It is also important that you apply this to your website. The content on your website, as well as being informative and engaging, should be keyword optimised to attract as many potential customers as possible.
Having influencers use backlinks to your website on their blog posts will also boost your SEO. You can then use tracking links like Swayy’s very own to monitor the traffic.
As well as being one of the most important marketing tools of our era (see our posts on The Power of Social Media and Long Tail Influencers for more information), many brands use their social media page to interact with their customers. For example, if somebody mentions your hotel on Instagram, it is a good idea to like or comment on it.
Keep an Eye on Reviews and Recommendations
We all know that a good review will attract people to your venue, whilst a poor review can cost you hundreds of customers. Therefore, it is important to engage your customers after they check out and to monitor the reviews they are posting. It is natural that every venue will have an unhappy customer from time to time, but leaving negative reviews and comments unattended is disastrous in any business, and is especially disastrous for reputation in hospitality.
So what can you do to help it?
Respond to dissatisfied guests with helpful feedback; this will help neutralise the negative feedback from the immediate reviewer. In addition to this, it will help potential future customers who may stumble across the feedback know that you are a proactive and caring venue, committed to making sure that every guest has the best possible experience. In doing so, you maintain control over the reputation you have worked so hard to build.
Sometimes known as one-to-one marketing, this technique delivers user personalised advertising content through data collection and analysis. Although this can be complicated to implement, there are many benefits to providing marketing which is relevant to the individual user. For example, targeted emails and intelligent product recommendations establish a more personal relationship with the customer and encourage them to make a return visit.
And linked to this…
Treat Your Guests Like Family
Whatever the size of your hotel or venue, the key to enticing customers to return to your property is offering an experience that makes them feel special. If a consumer or client does not feel connected to your brand, they will be more easily lured away by price, location or facilities next time they book a stay. Connecting with a customer emotionally and making them feel familiar in your venue will generate a meaningful experience that they are more likely to want to repeat, and one which they will then share with friends and family.
It makes no sense to dedicate yourself to a complex marketing plan if the experience at the end of it does not resonate with the customer. We talked more about this in a comparative case study of a luxury hotel and a family hotel; give it a read here!
Market the Location, Not Just the Hotel
Most travellers are looking for more than just a bed and room service when deciding where to book their holiday. Let your customers know that you understand their desire to get out and explore!
Providing your guests with information about what’s on offer in the area in which your hotel resides will give them a sense of the spirit of your location and increase their curiosity. It will also give the impression of a hotel in touch with the local community and all of its idiosyncratic features.
There are millions of hotels and venues of every size across the globe, each of them vying for a share of customer attention. So, yours needs to offer something distinct to mark it out from the rest in order to attract potential guests. Whilst it is important to market the features of your hotel carefully, it is also important to sell a unique experience. Venues in the luxury hotel industry may seem very similar to a customer at the first glance, but often they occupy different niches within the same category.
For the most effective hotel marketing strategy, determine what makes your hotel unique and make sure that people know about it.
Interested in working with full time, pre-vetted hotel influencers? Click here to find out how Swayy can help you. If you are an influencer interested in a collaboration, read up on what we can do for you.
By Shannon Collins